As physicians, we often don’t see the harm that opioid pain medications can cause to the individual, whether through side effects, dependence, or diversion. Also, we may not always consider the implications on the national scale; prescription drug overdose deaths have increased exponentially from 2013 to 2016. The magnitude of this crisis has led to pain management guidelines from numerous entities, such as the Joint Commission and the CDC. These recommendations provide a solid foundation for opioid stewardship and are now considered to be best practice.
National Recovery Month sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is observed every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy, rewarding lives.
Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of harm around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the cost associated with medication errors is around $42 billion USD annually. Likewise, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) has documented over $140 million Canadian dollars in direct and indirect healthcare expenditures due to preventable medication hospitalizations, with lost productivity (including time off work) adding an additional $12 million in costs.
In our latest Thought Leader podcast, I speak with Phil Campbell, CIO and VP of Information Services at CalvertHealth (Prince Frederick, MD), about how his organization has been addressing the opioid crisis through its award-winning Opioid Stewardship Program.
Having a clear view of a patient’s prescription history is one of the most important tools a doctor can have during the opioid crisis. That’s why we recently integrated our EHR with the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) at Chippewa County War Memorial Hospital.
In 2014, there were 28 million patient discharges in U.S. hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that in 2017, six million senior citizens were readmitted to hospitals, which cost an average of $15-20 million.
Quality care for our patients is at the heart of Med Center Health. Part of quality care is following the latest evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of various disease states, especially those with high risk of mortality.
Have you seen MEDITECH’s For Us, It’s Personal video on what the healthcare industry means to us? In the video, I shared that my sister passed away from sepsis following a bone marrow transplant related to leukemia. Like many others, my personal experiences contribute to my passion at work, and my after-hours engagement as a member of a patient advisory board.
As healthcare organizations further integrate technology into their operations, the risk of cyberattacks increases — and research shows that today’s healthcare leaders are continually looking for ways to lower that risk.
All industries are having to adjust to the increasing power of customer voices and on-demand consumer trends. In the world of healthcare, this makes patients the decision makers who hold the most important perspective.